Updated Aug 2, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Trump endorsement tracker: Candidates face off in five primaries

Note: This data includes only those races in which Axios research determined at least two candidates have a reasonable chance of winning; Data: Axios research; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Former President Trump's influence over the GOP faces a new test on Tuesday, as voters weigh in on consequential primaries in five states.

Why it matters: A string of losses among candidates endorsed by Trump in May has punctured perceptions of his dominance over the GOP for the first time in years, raising questions about the competition he could face in a 2024 Republican presidential primary.

What to watch: In Arizona's gubernatorial primary, Trump has backed former news anchor Kari Lake, who has pushed false claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

  • The governor's race is a battle between Trump and other GOP forces. Lake's competitor, businesswoman Karrin Taylor Robson, has earned the endorsement of former Vice President Mike Pence and the outgoing Gov. Doug Ducey.
  • Trump endorsed a number of additional election-denying candidates down the ballot, including Thiel Foundation President Blake Masters for Senate and Mark Finchem, an Arizona state lawmaker and conspiracy theorist who marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6, for secretary of state.
  • Both Lake and Finchem have for weeks in the run-up to the primary been saying that they'll blame election fraud if they lose Tuesday's primary, Axios' Jeremy Duda reports.

In Missouri, three candidates have emerged as frontrunners in the crowded primary to replace retiring Sen. Roy Blunt (R) — and all three have been vying for Trump's support.

  • But on Monday night, Trump endorsed "Eric" in the primary, in a field that includes both the state’s attorney general, Eric Schmitt, and disgraced former Gov. Eric Greitens.
  • Publicly, Schmitt and Greitens each claimed Trump’s backing.

In Michigan, Trump has endorsed businessman John Gibbs in a closely watched House race. Gibbs is attempting to unseat Republican Rep. Peter Meijer, who voted to impeach the former president.

In Washington state, Trump has backed two candidates seeking to defeat Republican House members who also voted to impeach Trump.

  • Loren Culp, a former small-town police chief, is vying for one of the Washington House seats. Culp lost the 2020 Washington governor's race to Democrat Jay Inslee but refused to concede, Axios' Alayna Treene reports.
  • The other Trump-backed candidate, Joe Kent, is a former Green Beret who supports the former president’s false claims that the 2020 election was stolen, AP reports.

The big picture: An Axios analysis of Trump's 173 endorsements found his record — while still positive overall — is far weaker when candidates running unopposed or in non-competitive races are filtered out.

  • Candidates endorsed by Trump were largely successful during primaries at the end of June, when the former president backed a number of safe incumbents, including Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.).
  • Seven candidates endorsed by Trump were defeated in GOP primaries in May, including four high-profile challengers in Georgia who were crushed by incumbents.
  • 11 of his candidates in competitive races have lost so far, while 30 have won.
  • Another 16 competitive races are still in progress.

Go deeper... Five states hold primaries in big tests for Trump

Editor's note: This tracker will be updated throughout the primaries.

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